The state government has announced that households across Victoria will be getting a fourth bin starting in 2021. The new bins will have purple lids and are for glass items only. Other recyclables such as plastic, metal and paper will still go into yellow bins, organic waste including food scraps will continue to go into green bins, and red bins will keep taking all other regular waste.
The new system doesn't just disguise our bins as Teletubbies. It's part of the government's plan to reduce waste going to landfill by 80 per cent in the next ten years. Better separation of waste leads to more effective recycling; broken glass is one of the biggest contaminants in the recycling stream under the current co-mingled system.
Diverting organic waste also makes a big difference to the environment. Victorians currently dump 250,000 tonnes of food waste into landfill each year, where it creates greenhouse gases as it breaks down.
In a press release, minister for energy, environment and climate change Lily D’Ambrosio said: “We know Victorians want to be able to do more to recycle household waste – this new system will make it easier for all of us to do our bit.”
The rollout of the four-bin system will happen gradually starting next year and will be implemented across 46 councils. The switch will happen sooner in some councils that have been trialling the new system, such as Hobsons Bay and Yarra City.
Along with the rubbish revamp, the state government also announced it will introduce a container deposit scheme in 2023, will classify waste collection as an "essential service" in Parliament, and will establish a dedicated Victorian waste authority. Every little bit helps, so bring it on, we say.